Abstract for:

Understanding the relationship between parental income and multiple child outcomes: A decomposition analysis

Paul Gregg, Carol Propper, Elizabeth Washbrook, December 2007
Paper No' CASE/129: | Full paper (pdf)
Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File
Keywords: child outcomes; income, pathways, mediating factors

JEL Classification: I32; J13

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CASE Papers
Share this page: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter

Abstract:

In this paper we explore the association between family income and children’s cognitive ability (IQ and school performance), socio-emotional outcomes (self esteem, locus of control and behavioural problems) and physical health (risk of obesity). We develop a decomposition technique that allows us to compare the relative importance of the adverse family characteristics and home environments of low income children in accounting for different outcomes. Using rich cohort data from the UK we find that poor children are disadvantaged at age 7 to 9 across the full spectrum of outcomes, the gradient being strongest for cognitive outcomes and weakest for physical health. We find that some aspects of environment appear to be associated with the full range of outcomes - for example, maternal smoking and breastfeeding, child nutrition, parental psychological functioning. We also find some some aspects of the environment of higher income households hinder child development. We conclude that many aspects of growing up in poverty are harmful to children’s development, and that narrowly-targeted interventions are unlikely to have a significant impact on intergenerational mobility.